The Energy Storage Colluquy

A review of several groundbreaking events in the Energy Storage Industry

by Andrew Crossland, Dufresne Research Analyst

The New Statesman newspaper published a catchy article last week. In it, the author highlights the value of storage for improving efficiency within the electrical network (read more). From a climate change perspective this is an important aspect. For example, nearly 6% of UK’s electrical energy is accounted by losses in the power grid; equating to approximately 1% of national greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is a financial incentive in place for reducing losses, even though this has little value for single installations and it is often nearly impossible to prove the effect being made. With National Grid (the UK TSO) estimating additional 5,200MW of storage required by 2025 to manage renewable generation, the current reform of the electricity market and regulation needs to show direct benefits for storage developers.

The past fortnight has seen the start of the analysis about the major blackouts in India that ocurred the end of July this year. Two approaches using storage must be highlighted. Firstly, the Indian Energy Storage alliance features how fast response technologies -storage and demand response- should be promoted in a country with a 12% power deficit in most areas, and large installations of wind and solar generation (read more). The second proposal says that micro-grids -diesel generators with solar and battery storage- should be promoted as an alternative/addition to simple expansion of large infrastructure. Micro-grids may be particularly appealing to businesses which cannot rely on power from the grid and can often be greener and more reliable than traditional diesel generators (read more). It would be really interesting to discuss with companies working on these micro-grid solutions- are the benefits clear?

Online energy storage talk over the last week has been invigorated by an article in Bloomberg entitled “Ski Lifts Help Open $25 Billion Market for Storing Power” (read here). This $25 billion figure, which is based on a report by Pike Research seems to have caught the Bloomberg author’s attention as she highlights a number of new and traditional storage techniques. “Ski-lift” energy storage is a technology by a company backed by no less than Bill Gates, and is a mechanical technique. A YouTube video explains the concept.

In closing, we should take stock of the money that is put into energy. This page from CNN highlights the “10 Most Expensive Energy Projects in the World.” Perhaps we will never see a storage project this expensive, but it is nonetheless interesting and inspiring for energy storage industry professionals to continue striving for more ambitious initiatives. 

If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.


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